Gentleman, start your espressos
Brew Watch Co’s Retrograph is a Wearable Espresso Shot Timer
See enough watches day-in, day-out, and eventually, they tend to run together in your mind — designs are for the most part fairly similar, and they tend to take inspiration from, well, other watches.
Brew Watch Co, founded by industrial designer Jonathan Ferrer and based in NYC, is a bit different. Ferrer’s watches take the espresso machine (and coffee culture in general) as inspiration — take a look at his HP-1 automatic watch, and it’s not difficult to see where the lines and curves originate. It’s a unique place from which to take inspiration for a timepiece, and if you place a bunch of watches down on a table, a Brew will stick out almost immediately.
The brand’s newest offering is the Retrograph, a Meca-Quartz-powered chronograph that takes the espresso theme to its next logical step. You see, on many vintage chronographs from the 1930s through the 1950s, there were hash marks at 3-minute intervals on the minute sub-dials. Why? Because phone calls were paid for in 3-minute intervals on most pay phones — you would insert a coin and receive another 3 minutes of call time, so watchmakers added an easy way to keep track of this elapsed time on their chronographs.
Ferrer took the idea from these “telephone timers” and adopted it to the idea of timing the extraction of an espresso shot. As the “ideal” time for the extraction of an optimal espresso shot is between 25 and 35 seconds, Ferrer placed emphasis on this timing interval around the outer track of the Retrograph, the first 35 seconds of which feature extra hash marks for more precise timing.
The watch itself is otherwise pure 1970s cool — it features a 316L stainless steel, 2-part cushion case that measures 38mm in diameter by 10.4mm deep, an AR-coated sapphire crystal, Super Lumi-Nova markers, lumed, hand-brushed aluminum hands, a premium Italian leather strap and the Seiko VK64 Meca-Quartz movement, a hybrid variety that gives you a sweep second hand and an instant-reset chronograph. Three dial colors are available, including Remington (black), Cobalt (cobalt blue) and Oxford (white). Each dial features a 60-minute counter and 24-hour counter as well as a date window at 6 o’clock, and all versions will ship in mid-December at a very affordable price of $350.